At work, things were in place for the end of year. I had unpacked everything and thought I had put in place a clear plan. However, what I learnt is that I was only in charge of half the picture. Things blew up in regards to aspects that were outside of my control. In addition to this, I had another issue arise that I had not accounted for take up a significant amount of time. In some ways, this reminded of Nassim Nicholas Taleb discussion of extremistan in The Black Swan:
On the 79th day, if the project is not finished, it will be expected to take another 25 days to complete. But on the 90th day, if the project is still not completed, it should have about 58 days to go. On the 100th, it should have 89 days to go. On the 119th, it should have an extra 149 days. On day 600, if the project is not done, you will be expected to need an extra 1,590 days. As you see, the longer you wait, the longer you will be expected to wait.(Page 159)
On the family front, my wife and I celebrated our fortieth. Our girls had their end of year dance concert, outdoors. We even went to children’s party at an indoor playcenter. It all feels really strange now as the number of cases where I live have skyrocketed.
On the personal front, I went to my first concert for years. I saw Twinkle Digitz and Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine. I had forgotten what I had missed. On the birthday front, I got two synthesisers, a Roland MC-101 and Behringer MS-1. After spending years thinking that it was enough to have an app, I am really enjoying the therapy of tweeking physical knobs. In regards to my listening, I have been getting into new albums from Damian Cowell’s Disco Machine and The War on Drugs. While I continued with my return to books, diving into Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way.
Here then are some of the posts that have had me thinking:
Anita Collins unpacks a number of benefits associated with music, including the association between hearing, speaking and reading, the importance of melodies in voice to aid cognitive development, the connection between singing and empathy, the link between rhythm and learning to read, and how learning a new instrument at 40-50 can help reduce cognitive decline when you are older.
Tom Barrett provides an introduction to Design Thinking. He addresses what it is, its purpose and how it can help in education.
Schools are surveying students to improve teaching. But many teachers find the feedback too difficult to act on
Ilana Finefter-Rosenbluh, Melissa Barnes and Tracii Ryan discuss the challenge between collecting feedback and improving learning outcomes.
Giancarlo Fiorella provides a number of tips for getting started with open source research.
From literary Rube Goldberg workflows, distraction-free text editors and e-ink tablets, Julian Lucas dives into the world of distraction-free writing. He explores the friction between paper and computers, and the benefits and negatives associates with each.
Tim O’Reilly explains that investments and speculations in technology do not equate to success. The lay of the land is only visible years later.
Chris Johnson has created a site for discovering music that would not normally be surfaced by the Spotify algorithm.
Reflecting upon Spotify’s Wrapped, the yearly review, Kelly Pau reminds us of the place of algorithms and artificial intelligence embedded within these choices.
David Weinberger compares the way in which the Western world has traditionally conceived of generalisations and certainty with the way in which machine learning works.
Kevin Hodgson dives into the world algorithmic music generation.
With the anniversary of Kid A and Amnesiac, as well as Kid A Mnesia Exhibition, Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei speak with Stanley Donwood and Thom Yorke about legacy of albums.
Dorian Lynskey dives into the many ambiguities associated U2’s song One.
From classical piano to Itch-E and Scratch-E to Dissociatives to Stereogamous to teaching at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Paul Mac has had a wide ranging career.
Molly Fischer digs into the life and thinking of David Graeber, including how he got so things done on just five hours sleep a night.
Chris Beckstrom has put together a wide collection of electronic samples derived from his modular setup.
Read Write Respond #071
So that was November/December for me, how about you? As always, hope you are safe and well.